I have an announcement. I have a website. Or rather, Erika Chase has a website. And I'm both pleased and relieved.
It's been on my To Do list for about a year now. Really. When Erika came into being, we both realized that it would take a lot of self-promotion in a market south of the border that's filled with cosy writers who are very serious about BSP (that's blatant self-promotion, a term that became a promotional manual from Sisters in Crime). In order to compete, and blatantly, get the sales in order to continue the series and continue competing, one needs to become a favoured name on readers' bookshelves.
My agent sent out a manual of promotional tips and as we all know, there's a lot of ways to go about it. A lot of gimmicks, too from the bookmarks to erasers to chocolates one finds in loot bags at mystery conferences. But the methods that have the most value, and take the most work also, are websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. The electronic age reigns!
Many are these days re-evaluating the value of the blog. As Vicki Delany pointed out to many of us, The Lipstick Chronicles, a long-standing blog with mainly US writers as contributors, has decided to call it quits. I know there are a couple of others that are re-evaluating the way they go about the blog business. Twitter seems to be the method of getting the word out there. But frankly, I tweet at least once a day, scroll through recent tweets, check on a few people to see what's on their minds (my agent being one of those) and that's about it. There's too much traffic on the Twitter line.
Facebook is becoming a challenge. Some days it's a breeze -- post, read, comment, smile. Other days, there's also too much happening and too little time to spend on it, that's when it's technically working correctly.
So, back to the author's website. I put off doing it because I wanted to have control and be able to change it as needed. Of course, that means I'll have to remember to do that. But, I'm technically challenged, so that seemed a large stumbling block. Not so. Mystery colleague and friend David Cole found this great easy-to-do site that let me build it all. It has a few frustrations (like a box that I cannot get ride of) but aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
And I was so relieved to be able to inform my editor that yes, I did now have a website up and running. Tick a major stressor off my To Do list. I hope you will visit Erika at http://www.erikachase.com and that you enjoy it. Please send me your comments and suggestions. I'm always looking for ways to make things better.
How about sending me a link to yours?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime